Unraveled Wednesday | 10.21.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.21.20

Dear Unravelers,

Do you ever feel like you are in a “making” rut? I am in a huge making rut and it really sucks! I have things to knit that I want to finish, but boy… there is just no joy in the making right now. (FYI, the following links are to projects on Ravelry) I should be knitting sleeves… but they are languishing in a basket next to the living room sofa. Or perhaps I should be knitting the body of this, but that is languishing in a knitting bag next to my bed.

Instead, I am knitting a heel (on a pair of socks that are screaming AUTUMN to me!) and pondering why I am so disinterested in things that should be bringing me joy. In an attempt to really break things up, I am going to pull out the sewing machine this week to see if that gets me back on the path of happy making! Thanks to Carolyn, a new-to-me Lotta Jansdotter book  arrived at my house this week and I think a bag test run is the perfect thing before attempting this beauty from the latest Making! (Because, I am just enamored with this bag!)

On Monday, several people asked about the Acorn Pattern… you will find Hunter Hammersen’s Hoard here on Ravelry.

I did manage to finish two books this week! (and I have started Summer and so far, so very good!)

All the Devils Are Here (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #16)All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Armand and friends in Paris, what’s not to love? An interesting city, a curious mystery, and familiar characters make for a can’t-put-it-down novel. I love how Penny keeps revealing more and more depth to her characters, and in doing so – makes them more lovable! I highly recommend!

 

The Women of Brewster PlaceThe Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At first I struggled to find a rhythm with this book, and perhaps reading just a page or two at night made that even more difficult. And once I found myself immersed in the stories of the women of Brewster Place, the ending left me struggling to find closure and I went back and re-read it several times to see if I was missing something. I don’t think I missed anything, and this book just did not seem to work for me.


And that is all I have for today. If you wrote a post to share (and I  sincerely hope you did!!) please leave your link below!


Unraveled Wednesday | 10.14.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.14.20

This week, knitting for Olivia has consumed me! I working on the sweetest little layette set that I hope to have winging its way to her in CA soon! The evolution of my knitting has astounded me though… especially in this iteration of the timeless BSJ. I must have been channeling EZ because I thought about how the applied I-cord would flow into the other areas (even thought they are all knit separately!) So I had little clusters of 3 stitches on pins waiting to be joined. And I have to say… I LOVE how this one turned out! And that perfection was just calling for a pair of Saartje’s Booties and an Easy Peasy Newborn Hat! (and I hope have leftover yarn to make an acorn or two!) I just have some fiddly bits on the second bootie to finish up and sew on some buttons… oh and finish the hat! But I think the hat should be done today as I don’t have lots on my plate!

It almost looks like one continuous applied i-cord!

Those little fiddly button holes… but they really make the booties!

The reading has absolutely slowed down a bit… not sure what’s up with that, but I only have one finish this week.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an interesting way to tell a story! Do memories have a taste? Do they smell? It was something I thought about as this story unfolded…and are those memories the door to pain and heartache? I loved the little “intermezzo” chapters where you got to know Leila’s friends more closely. And the ending… yes! It was exactly what I did not know I was hoping for. The only thing from keeping this book from a 5-star rating… at times the chapters dragged on a bit. However, I do highly recommend this beautiful story!


And, what about you? What is occupying your making and reading hours this week?

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave you link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 10.7.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 10.7.20

Greetings Unravelers!

First up, some incredibly sad news. I had already planned my post for Monday or I would have shared that Annie Modesitt lost her battle with cancer last week Thursday. This tribute posted on FB is exactly how I want to remember Annie. Bon voyage, indeed, Annie. May your next journey be as brilliant as you were!

(and then if that was not shitty enough, Eddie Van Halen died yesterday. 2020, you just suck. And true words… greatest rock and roll guitar player ever. This solo was just so damned amazing.)

On the knitting front, I am making my way through the increases in Olivia’s BSJ. It might have been done, but I made a rookie error and increased on the wrong side. I did not catch it until I had almost completed the decreases… so RIIIPPPP! I frogged back to fix the error. (I am 100% blaming this error on Last Tango in Halifax… lol) Anyway, I don’t expect this will take much longer and then I will be back to Sleeve Island and Acorn Production….two very nice ways to spend ones time!

The reading this week has hit a bit of a hurdle. I think when you have read so many excellent books, it can be hard to settle into a new book. That was the case for me this week. I tried several times to get into Girl, Woman, Other but it just was not happening. I returned it to the library and will try again later this year. When that happens, I find a nice palate cleanser is the perfect thing and I had two perfect palate cleansing books!

The TraditionThe Tradition by Jericho Brown
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jericho Brown is a new to me poet, but a friend’s review of his poetry piqued my curiosity!

The Tradition did not at all disappoint! I listened to the audio version, and it was so good I listened twice! The words sing a poignant song that will not leave you unmoved.

Utter perfection and I highly recommend!

ThrallThrall by Natasha Trethewey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had recently heard one of Trethewey’s poems on The Writer’s Almanac and it inspired me to read more. This book of poems weaves back and forth between thoughts on her father and poems about artwork. It is magical how she can make you see the artwork with her words. But the poems about her father are simply magnificent.


And that is all I have for this week. I will be back on Monday!

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 9.30.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.30.20

Greetings, Unravelers!

This week’s making is back to Sleeve Island. Slowly, round by round, I am moving towards the cuff…of the first sleeve! lol

In voting news, we got an email that our ballots were mailed 8 days ago but we have yet to receive them. Mail at our house has become something of a running joke… as in we *rarely* get mail these days even though bills should arrive, etc. We get nothing most days. So I needed a distraction… enter Hunter Hammersen with the perfect distraction!

I have started my acorn knitting and boy are they fun! I’d love a bowl full of these little beauties to adorn my table for the fall! (The pattern is here… sorry it is a Ravelry link, and Hunter is adding the knit acorn caps in a week or so)

The reading this week has been varied. I think The Yellow House suffered a bit from being sandwiched between Hamnet and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And I should be reading The Women of Brewster Place but I am struggling to get into the story. When I saw that 10 Minutes 38 seconds in This Strange World was available from my library, I jumped at the chance. I have only started but I have been pulled in and can’t wait to see where this book will take me.

The Yellow HouseThe Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I had high hopes for this book, and while it was good… I did not think it was great. And it is long, perhaps too long… and I like to read long books. At times, it felt like it needed a bit of editing.

This book is a mix between a memoir and the painful history of the New Orleans East (part of the 9th Ward, I believe). But, how do you tell a story without knowing all the parts? This book is Broom’s journey to discover the unsaid. The one thing that most fascinated me was how all the history revolved around the yellow shotgun house.

A Tree Grows in BrooklynA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply said, I did not want this book to end. I wanted to stay with Francie and never leave. And this writing will be some of the best I have read all year. And A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is now easily the best book I have read this year (yes, it has unseated Apeirogon).

Settle in to Brooklyn in the early 1900’s with the Nolan family… a place of struggles but so full of love and hope. The struggles were at times almost unbearable, yet Kate Nolan never once gives up, and she does not let her despair drag her children down. Her desire for her children to have more opportunities than she did are her driving force. This is a story of resilience and believing that things will get better, which was just exactly what I need these days…

I highly recommend this book!


That is all I have for today, what about you? What is distracting you? I am dying to know!

As always, if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below and thank you!


Unraveled Wednesday | 9.23.20

Unraveled Wednesday | 9.23.20

It has been hard to “get back into reality” even with just a few days away. But going anywhere in these Pandemic Times is a challenge, right? Our trip to Erie was no exception, we both worried about staying *any* place…even with the “enhanced cleaning” Airbnb suggests… So we brought pillows from home, and I “cleaned” the clean house when we arrived. I also got out all the dishes we might use over the weekend and washed them all before we used anything. Silly? Probably, but it allayed the fears a little. I also worried for the cleaning people who would come to clean after we left, so we cleaned the house again before we left on Sunday. The one bonus about going to an Airbnb is that there are no “tchotchke’s” on every flat surface, so it was not such a onerous task! Ha!

Knitting though, took an absolute back seat! I knit a bit in the car going to Erie and coming home but outside of that I did not pick up my knitting once so I don’t have much progress to show for the week! I was going to start a pair of socks for Winston, but I have yet to cast them on and there has been zero sleeve knitting either. My hope is today that I will find some knitting time. Wish me luck!

However, I do have a completed Avery 2.0 Vest… and gosh, it is just so stinking cute! I can hardly wait to see Win in it!

The reading this week included two powerful but unbelievably different books! Each excellent in their own way. The first will not be for everyone, and that is fine. But Hamnet. Yeah… get this book and read it. This book is exactly what your autumn reading list needs!

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the USDear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US by Lenny Duncan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read several faith-style books this year about how to be a better person/ally, but this is the first book I have read that addresses the “elephant in the room” in a frank, and at times, brutally honest way. Duncan’s perspective might be uncomfortable, but it is so necessary.

The church is political. Feeding the homeless is radical. Marriage is radical when it’s offered to everyone and blessed by clergy. God’s justice is radical. Centering the oppressed is radical. Our task is not so much to reject politicism as it is to reject evil. The message of Jesus is radical and political.

This book will not be for everyone, but if you are looking for someone to tell you hard truths, this is the book for you!

HamnetHamnet by Maggie O’Farrell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have read rave reviews of this book, and every one of them is absolutely right… this is a phenomenal book! The writing is just so damned excellent! The story is so incredibly engaging! This was a book that was easy to lose myself in and each chapter was better than the one before! The ending though, oh my gosh, wow! This is a book you cannot read without a tissue box near by…trust me on this!

Is this the best book I have read all year? While I absolutely loved this book, it did not unseat Apeirogon for me, but it is a very close second!

I urge you to get this book today and start reading!


On a more urgent note, I got an email from Allegheny County letting me know my ballot is on its way! But, are you registered to vote? Are all your friends and family registered to vote? Have you made your plan to vote? I have! I will be filling out my ballot and hand delivering it to a drop off location! We need to vote like our lives depend on it because, sadly, I think they do! And the clock is ticking, we are just 41 days away!!

That is all I have for this week, as always if you wrote a post to share, please leave your link below.


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